Of all the impulse Amazon buys I made last year, these were the least regrettable.

Note, I’m not affiliated with or sponsored by any of these products.  Just boring.

  1. These reusable silicon scrubby pads.  They’re marketed for dishes, which they’re terrible for, but they’re quite good for body/face and I especially like using them to clean my makeup brushes.  I received multiple sizes so I’m not sure this is the same package I purchased.  I use the big ones to open jars.  They also come with a hook hole, which is great for hang drying.
  2. A U-shaped knife/utensil cleaning brush.  I was trying to clean a knife with one of the reusable silicon scrubby pads mentioned above and the knife literally cut the pad in half.  I was pleased to still have my hand intact after that and promptly ordered this wonderful thinger.  It has bristles on either side of the U and a hard base, which substantially reduces the possibility of slicing your hand open.  It does a bang up job of cleaning the gunk off knives, flatware, and other kitchen utensils.  It works especially well on tongs.  Stands on its own and takes up minimal valuable sink real estate.
  3. Quick dry reusable cellulose cleaning pads.  It’s kind of a cross between a sponge and a dish rag.  I’m trying to reduce my reliance on disposable goods, e.g. paper towels.  I don’t like dish rags because they take so long to dry and sponges are gross.  Enter these things that the rest of the world seem to know and love but we were late to the party with.  They’re very absorbent, you can wring them out nearly dry, and use them again without any downtime.  I go through about one per month.  They start to shrink a little with time and get kind of goopy looking but it’s still so much better than dirty dish rags and more eco-friendly and cheaper than paper towels.  I’ve also seen these at Daiso and my corner market.
  4. Organic cotton squares.  Generally speaking, I am an undiscerning plebe.  That said, you know something’s good when I remark upon its quality.  These cotton pads don’t shed and are very absorbent so you only need to use a teensy bit of product.  Although they are more expensive than other brands of cotton pads, you get more of them and save money on your beauty products.  Muji also makes a good cotton square.  I’ve seen this particular brand at several Korean and Japanese grocery chains for about $7.
  5. Aritaum Overnight lip mask.  Although this is intended as an overnight mask, I use it like a normal balm.  It is very thick, very goopy, and imparts some shine, but it is the only lip product I know of that actually retains moisture and improves my lips.  I obviously use less of it when wearing it out and about.  It will leave residue on glasses but it’s NBD.  I’ve tried similar lip masks like Laneige, and while I prefer the consistency of the Laneige, the results don’t hold up to that of this Aritaum version.  When I wear as an overnight mask, I wake up with some reside but wipe it off with a q-tip and it takes away the dead skin with it.
  6. Baggu weekender.  A few caveats.  I bought this several years ago and not from Amazon and I don’t think it’s even the same bag that I own.  Whatever.  It’s my go-to travel bag.  It has short and long straps and won’t kill your shoulder through an airport.  Works well as a carry on and is infinitely cavernous on the inside.  Made of very sturdy Nylon.  Two-way chunky zipper that never snags.
  7. A cake cutter/leveler.  I’ve never owned a cake leveler so I can’t tell you how this stacks up against others but I found it very useful.  Depending on the density/texture of your cake, there may be some pull.  I found it easier to use a sawing motion.  Resulted in very precise cuts and reduced the time I spent baking individual layers as I was able to achieve 2 or 3 layers from a single cake and add height with frosting.  This is super helpful for n00b bakers such as myself who don’t own a billion specialty pans.  It’s super wide and can handle large sheet cakes and rounds.
  8. Flexible under bed storage.  My bed frame is very low to the ground and I have yet to find a plastic under bed storage solution that fits.  These guys are Nylon and have no frame so they take the shape of their contents.  I use them for sweaters and gift wrap.  They have pulls on either side so they’re easy to retrieve.  I was concerned they would be difficult to push under the bed without any structure but once they have some weight in them, it’s no problem.
  9. Catnip banana.  This is exactly what it says it is.  A banana for cats.  It’s filled with catnip.  My cats have millions of similar toys but this is the only one they can agree upon.  It’s big enough for them to grip and kick.  Small enough to bat and chase.  It’s also much cuter when they’re manically shredding a banana as opposed to some hyperrealistic rat thing.
  10. Sistema tiny Tupperwares.  I guess they’re not Tupperwares if they’re Sistema.  In pursuit of a less wasteful lifestyle, I purchased these to reduce my reliance on Ziplocs.  I’m one of these people who can eat one thing all the time.  That thing is for better or worse, Grapenuts.  I pack the Grapenuts in one of these, chopped fruit in another, and add milk or yogurt.  They’re small enough to fit into my purse, easy to clean, and they snap shut.  Dishwasher safe.  Fun colors.  Not super exciting but they made my life better last year.

And there you have it.  Next up, the least disappointing bulk underwear for your buck.

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